DOES MY BUM LOOK GOOD IN THIS? DELAY MIRROR PLUS IOT IN NEW RETAIL

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Store fitting rooms: unflattering lighting, clothes that don’t fit scattered everywhere, no helpful store assistant in sight…
Basically a nightmare, right? Not in 2017 retail, says this week’s [retail bytes]!

Parking just got smart: A revealing test for every new tech development is if it is distinguishable from magic. We’re happy to report that image recognition has passed the test! Westfield has mastered their full “Harry Potter” quality of hand-waving magic – register your car on their new Smart Parking website and you will be seamlessly waved in and out without having to bother paying for the parking at some dusty booth in a dark, dimly lit corner of a menacing car park. Westfield is bright and shiny – and you don’t even need to get out of the car. Makes shopping easier, particularly if you have small children in tow. Kudos!

Say bye bye to fitting room nightmares: What really needs new wizardry is the fitting room. The phenomenon known as a “fitting room vortex” is familiar to every retailer – a customer disappears into a changing room with a pile of clothes to try and emerges after 20 minutes, dishevelled, sweaty… but without buying anything. Typically, if the product does not fit, the potential buyer will just give up, as they are too frustrated to wait for the assistant to bring a replacement (often there’s only one helper for several changing rooms). So, let’s say hello to RFID tags, small chips on the garment’s care label that can activate a sensor when the customer takes the clothes into the fitting room. A small tablet built into the mirrors has sensors that will pick up what size clothes the customer has on. Then the sensor communicates with the database and calls up the options for the customer to show a size up and/or down. At the click of the ‘help’ button the assistant then brings the new clothes in the desired different size or colour. No more frustration waiting for help and poking your head out of the fitting room while your half-naked body is trying to stay covered behind the curtains. This will also provide great analytics on which garments go to the fitting rooms but are never bought – immediately identifying a design issue that can be addressed.

Shake that booty: Does my bum look good in this? Many a partner has had to answer that anxious question outside the fitting rooms of Zara or Topshop. No more! Tap the video icon on the mirror in the fitting room and it will take a short video of you doing a twirl to show the front and back in those slightly ambitious oversized trousers. Then it’ll play it to you with a few seconds’ delay, allowing for a full examination of the garment and a check on whether it really is flattering your behind. Many relationships saved – thank you Delay Mirror!

Techy lipsticks & co: Many cosmetic products are highly technical and require displaying significantly more info than you can fit on the site of a typical cream tub. Now the shopper can select a cream or lipstick, drop it on the interactive scales and read all the extra details in depth at their leisure on a large display screen placed next to the scales. Using RFID and the weight of the product, the weight triggers the sensors to call up the relevant information from the Beauty Library – great for cosmetic houses but also DIY or Warhammer!

Louis Vuitton thieves, beware: Luxury retail fraud costs companies millions of pounds a year. To increase security and also to find out which items and garments are particularly prone to theft, embedding RFID in each item allows a very detailed view on what products ‘walk out’ more than others. Then the decision can be either to bring up a cheaper version, or secure it better in a more protected display. Way to go.

Looking for RFID or Delay Mirror solutions? Get in touch with eva@theretailpractice.com. Let’s move shops and retail in to 21st century!